Reviewer:Brain Molecule Marketing
June 1, 2015 Subject:
Atheist Fail for Coyne and Sam Harris
Is this book useful? Do magical "beliefs"/statements really need to be challenged? Do they even effect behavior? Probably not.
Of course, Coyne is going to defend his profession and how he earns his money against religious-magical views and beliefs and attack on the indisputable facts of advanced biology. His science is fine but his own atheist ideology is deeply flawed.
The fundamental flaw is the acceptance of the vast evidence for no free will and conscious control of behavior along with claims that conscious religious "beliefs" cause violence and harmful behavior. Superstitious and magical "beliefs," which are really just statements about supernatural things, may cause behavior but we don't have proof. The no free will research strongly suggests this cannot medically be true but the research has not been done.
Still, Coyne gets a lot of press blaming violence, or anything, on magical-religious beliefs.
Coyne quotes: "One of the biggest threats to our planet now is religion, particularly the extreme versions of Islam that are violently opposed to secular reason and society. "
"...Ugyar just won’t accept that religion itself can be the main reason for malevolent acts."
- First, a statement like this needs scientific evidence. Where are the peer-reviewed studies? How about just one?
- Second, the no free will evidence says this cannot medically be true.
- Third, without evidence and ignoring the countra-evidence makes this just another dehumanizing and demonizing statement of the "other."
If we don't have evidence-based, experimental proof that "beliefs" cause behavior then Coyne's, and other atheistis, challenging religious statements/beliefs is no more sensible and useful than challenging voodoo, astrology or belief in the tooth fairy. Of course, magical beliefs are wrong and lies, by definition.
One would think a prominent and hi IQ group like Coyne, Harris, etc could better contribute to human knowledge by exploring the real facts about human behavior. But I have personally found these folks deeply in denial of brain research, except the no free will research, that challenges their political/ideological screeds. Fair enough. Screed always sell best. They have no conscious control of what they are doing anyway.